News in Numbers – September 9, 2016

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4,845

What is it? The number of cars and vans sold by Mahindra & Mahindra in the three-month period from April to July.

Why is it important? On Thursday, the automaker stitched a Rs 2,600 crore deal to sell and finance on preferential terms vehicles for 40,000 drivers of Ola, the shared-transportation platform, by 2018. At Mahindra’s current run rate of car and van sales, that’s additional sales of nearly two years.

Tell me more: Mahindra has struggled to establish itself in the cars segment, where it is remembered more for a parting of ways with its joint venture partner Renault and for acquiring Indian electric-car marker Reva.

219

What is it? The film Pink, which hits cinemas next week, will be Amitabh Bachchan’s 219th film, in a decorated career spanning 47 years.

Why is it important? Although not as prolific as he once was—in both 2004 and 2005, he featured in 11 films, against 3 in 2015—the 74-year-old is one of the rare actors in mainstream Hindi cinema still having meaty roles come his way.

Tell me more: It’s an indicator of his enduring appeal that Bachchan has made ‘special appearance’ playing himself in 23 of these 219 films.

1.64 million

What is it? The number of two wheelers sold in August 2016

Why is it important? It’s 26.3% more than the units sold last August, and fastest since November 2011. Two wheeler sales is considered to be a proxy for rural demand. After two years of drought. India is seeing normal monsoon this year. Implementation of the sixth pay commission recommendations, which left more money on the hands of government workers is also likely to have helped push sales.

Tell me more: Four wheeler sales went up 16.7% to 258,000, a 16.7% increase that prompted Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers to increase its growth projections for the year to 11-13% (from 6-8% earlier).

> $5 trillion

What is it? The cost to the global economy from premature deaths and illnesses caused by air pollution in 2013, according to a new study by World Bank.

Why is it important? India, China and other emerging Asian economies bear more than half that burden. India lost 7.69% of its GDP to air pollution, the report said. (The equivalent number for China is nearly 10%). Air pollution is the fourth leading cause of premature deaths globally, after metabolic and dietary factors and tobacco smoke.

Tell me more: The bank arrived at these numbers by the lost work days due to premature death ($225 billion) and the welfare cost (based on what people were prepared to pay to avoid dying from air pollution ($5 trillion). The bank said the costs would be even higher if health costs were included.

$50 million

What is it? The amount online education start-up Byju’s raised in a round led by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Why is it important? For Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a fund set up by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, this is the first investment in Asia. It will help Byju’s (founded by Byju Raveendran in November 2011 andregistered as Think & Learn Private Limited) expand to more subjects and enter US and UK markets. The startup is reportedly valued at about $470 million, and is an indication that funded startups pool is getting more diversified.

Tell me more: Byju’s has 250,000 subscribers who use the app for an average of 40 minutes a day, Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. In the past, Byju’s has raised funding from Aarin Capital, Sequoia Capital and Sofina.

 

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News in Numbers – September 25, 2015

News In Numbers: September 25

717

Number of pilgrims who died in a stampede outside the Muslim holy town of Mecca, which is said to be the worst disaster to strike the annual Hajj pilgrimage in 25 years. At least 863 people have been injured. In July 1990, 1,416 pilgrims were crushed to death in a tunnel near Mecca. As on Thursday evening, over 220 ambulances and 4,000 rescue workers were sent to the stampede location to help the injured people. Different media reports say 1-4 Indians have been killed in this stampede. More than 2 million Muslims from 183 countries travel to Mecca for Hajj. Between 2012 and 2014, 3,46,323 Indian Muslims have gone on Hajj pilgrimage from Haj Committee of India and 95,490 through private tour operators.

 

29.8 lakh

The number of people who have given up their LPG subsidy so far. This March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested consumers to surrender their subsidies on LPG if they could afford to buy it at market rates. Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan is the latest celebrity to ‘Give it up’ (as the campaign is called). As on July 28, the total number of people who had opted for no LPG subsidy stood at around 13.9 lakh. Of this, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi were the top three states that accounted for 44% of the total number of consumers who had given up the LPG subsidy.

 

1.9% versus 4.1%

The population growth a year in the district of Delhi compared to that of Gautam Budh Nagar, Delhi’s neighbouring area, between 2001 and 2011. It’s an example of how population growth has been faster in the peripheries of the major Indian cities, as pointed out by the World Bank in its recent report on urbanisation in South Asia. These peripheries do not come under the cities’ “official administrative boundaries”. Talking about “hidden urbanisation”, the report pointed out that the official national statistics in South Asian countries understated the share of the region’s population living in areas with urban characteristics. The number of urban agglomerations (urban spread constituting a town and its neighbouring areas or two or more towns) in India increased to 475 (Census 2011) from 384 (Census 2001).

 

Rs 1,000 crore


Cost of the education package Gujarat government has launched, a move that is seen to placate the agitating Patel community. This community has been holding public demonstrations demanding the other backward status. Applicable to students of all categories, the government would provide financial assistance for those who score above 90 percentile and whose parents’ annual income do not exceed Rs 4.5 lakh per annum. The scheme will be implemented this year itself and around 70,000 students are expected to benefit from it. Gujarat had 25 colleges per lakh population (18-23 years) in 2011-2012 and average enrolment per college was 594. The state’s enrolment for undergraduate degrees in the same year totalled to over 9 lakh, about 4% of the all-India figure.

 

30

The number of Indian developers Facebook has partnered with for ‘Free Basic Services’, which is a part of its controversial Internet.org platform. With this, the total number of free services is up to 80. Internet.org is a partnership between the social networking company, telecommunication companies where it would provide free services including applications for learning english or providing information to farmers in developing countries. This has come under severe criticism for going against the ‘free spirit’ of the Internet. Facebook says that globally 50% of the users on this platform have moved on to accessing other websites by paying for data services and in India, the figure is eight times the number of users on the platform. The telecom regulator in India has said that it would make its position clear on net neutrality in a couple of months.

 

 

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